Perception is often different to reality and the latest Nielsen Rural Mythbuster thought leadership study shatters long-held beliefs, replacing them with the reality reflected in an extensive series of research.
Myth 1: Rural Vietnamese consumers are less connected than their urban counterparts
Per the study findings, the reality in Vietnam is that "urbanisation subsequently brings rural consumers closer to their counterparts who are living in towns and big cities, making them also living in a diversified media world." With more than 90 percent of rural households owning a television, mass marketing reach is at peak saturation point, with over half households connected to over ten channels. On the mobile side, 90 percent of rural consumers own a mobile phone, with half of those owning a smartphone.
Myth 2: Rural Vietnamese consumers are drawn to low-price products
In the first quarter of 2017, leading FMCG companies reported that rural regions accounted for 51 percent of nationwide sales, growing by 12.4 percent over the previous year. The study showed that products positioned on a psychographic standpoint experienced greater uplift than those products commoditised on price alone.
Myth 3: Rural Vietnamese consumers are creatures of habit
When resources deployed towards distribution, visibility, reach, and supply optimisation are equal between rural and urban markets, rural markets outperform urban in 25 out of 27 consumer goods categories.
Myth 4: Rural Vietnamese consumers represent a higher cost of fulfillment
The study reflects that of the 1.1 million outlets in the nation, 400,000 of the stores in the top districts contribute roughly 39 percent of the total retail sales. With proper targeting, "reaching the majority of sales is feasible and is not as expensive and resource-consuming as you might think," said Nguyen Anh Dzung, head of RMS at Nielsen Vietnam. "Therefore, stores segmentation or “where to focus” is what businesses are [advised] to go after whenever thinking of expanding to this new potential market."
“As the rural Vietnamese community continues to evolve and takes center stage as a key group for businesses, understanding who they really are, where, how and what they are buying and their most effective touchpoints will be prerequisites for future success,” Nguyen said.